online advertising, Behavioral
targeting, and Privacy
Studying how privacy regulation might impact
economic activity on the advertising-supported Internet.
IlluS Tra TIon By GlueKI T
Data on the online behavior of consumers has allowed companies to deliver online advertising in an extraor- dinarily precise fashion.
For example, a Lexus dealership can
target advertising so that its ads are
shown only to people who have been
recently browsing high-end cars on
auto Web sites. Such behavioral targeting has obvious benefits to advertisers because fewer ad impressions
are wasted. Instead, advertisers focus
their resources on the consumers
most likely to be influenced by the ads.
For consumers, however, ads that are
behaviorally targeted can appear unauthorized and even creepy. As a result
there have been calls in the U.S. and
elsewhere for new regulation to restrict the collection and use of online
data for advertising purposes.
Unfortunately, there has been little
empirical evidence about the consequences of such regulation for the future of advertisers and Web publishers